If you have a child, then it’s a good idea to have a minor guardianship. This legal guardianship should be established to make sure that your child will have a guardian in the case that you can no longer care for them or pass away.
Usually, in two-parent households, guardianship automatically passes to the living parent upon the other’s death. However, there are exceptions, such as if you are a same-sex couple and have not completed an adoption with the second parent or if you have adopted a child prior to marriage and haven’t had the other parent adopt as well.
There are all kinds of circumstances that can lead to trouble if one parent passes away, so it’s important to take the time to look into minor guardianships with your attorney and to figure out who you’d like to have take care of your child in your absence.
Should you choose only one guardian for your child?
No. If you have several people in mind who would be willing to take care of your child in your absence, then it makes sense to select several guardians as well.
There are a few reasons to do this. First, if you pass away and the first guardian has already died or is no longer able to provide care for your child, then failing to have a “backup” guardian could mean that your child would enter foster care.
Another reason to choose more than one guardian is because people’s lives change. Someone who used to have no children may have agreed to watch over your child if you pass away. If they now have several children, they may have changed their mind. You wouldn’t know that right away, and they may not want to tell you.
Finally, if you are in a nontraditional relationship, selecting your spouse or partner as a guardian is a great idea. However, there is a chance that both of you could pass away at the same time. You’ll want to have an additional guardian or two available if that happens, so that you know your child will receive the care that they need.